Clyde Vanel Loans Himself 100k to Take on Malcolm Smith

Clyde Vanel. (Photo: Vanel Campaign)
Clyde Vanel. (Photo: Vanel Campaign)

If Clyde Vanel fails to defeat indicted State Senator Malcolm Smith, it won’t be for lack of start-up cash.

According to the latest campaign finance filings, Mr. Vanel, a business attorney, loaned himself a sizable $100,000 to launch his campaign against Mr. Smith, a southeastern Queens Democrat charged last year in a bribery scheme to land himself on the GOP mayoral ballot. Continue reading “Clyde Vanel Loans Himself 100k to Take on Malcolm Smith”

New Candidate to Challenge Malcolm Smith

Clyde Vanel. (Photo: Vanel Campaign)
Clyde Vanel. (Photo: Vanel Campaign)

State Senator Malcolm Smith, a Democrat charged last year in a sprawling bribery scheme to land himself on the GOP ballot for mayor, looks like he will now be fending off at least two challengers if he seeks re-election this year.

Mr. Smith, is already facing attorney Munir Avery and will now also contend with Clyde Vanel, a former candidate for City Council and the State Assembly.  Continue reading “New Candidate to Challenge Malcolm Smith”

Queens Attorney Set to Challenge Malcolm Smith

Munir Avery. (Photo: Facebook)
Munir Avery. (Photo: Avery Campaign)

An attorney with close ties to Queens County politics is planning to challenge embattled State Senator Malcolm Smith next year.

Mr. Smith, still reeling from an arrest on corruption charges earlier this year, is openly despised by his fellow Senate Democrats after caucusing briefly with a breakaway faction of Democrats that govern the Senate with Republicans and is considered a major target in 2014. Continue reading “Queens Attorney Set to Challenge Malcolm Smith”

LL Cool J Hosts Event With Indicted State Senator in Queens

LL Cool J and Malcolm Smith.
LL Cool J and State Senator Malcolm Smith.

State Senator Malcolm Smith may be facing federal corruption charges, but LL Cool J is cool with it.

The ’90s heartthrob, rapper and star of NCIS: Los Angeles returned to his childhood neighborhood in southeast Queens yesterday to co-host a basketball tournament with the indicted pol, who recently pleaded not-guilty to federal corruption charges for allegedly orchestrating an elaborate scheme to get himself elected mayor.

“The beauty about the American system is that you’re innocent ’til proven guilty,” the rapper told Politicker as he greeted excited fans at the annual basketball event when asked about the scandal.

Continue reading “LL Cool J Hosts Event With Indicted State Senator in Queens”

Shirley Huntley Explains How Everyone Was Totally Out to Get Her

Journalist Roy Paul interviewing ex-State Senator Shirley Huntley earlier today.
Journalist Roy Paul interviewing ex-State Senator Shirley Huntley earlier today.

She may have already admitted to corruption, but it was not her fault that she was prosecuted, former State Senator Shirley Huntley repeatedly insisted today. She provided many excuses.

A month from serving a year-long prison sentence, Ms. Huntley claimed, for example, that she was singled out for an investigation because she didn’t tell her constituents that the current attorney general’s electoral opponent was “a racist and only locks up black people” during the campaign.

“He was upset with me about certain things that he wanted me to do,” Ms. Huntley said of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a former colleague in the State Senate before he ran for higher office in 2010. Mr. Schneiderman faced a crowded field in the Democratic primary, including Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, whom Ms. Huntley alleged she was asked to malign.

Continue reading “Shirley Huntley Explains How Everyone Was Totally Out to Get Her”

Malcolm Smith No Longer Seems Interested in Mayoral Race

Sen. Malcolm Smith talks to CBS6. (YouTube/CBS6Albany)
Sen. Malcolm Smith talks to CBS6. (YouTube/CBS6Albany)

State Senator Malcolm Smith, who has been accused of trying to bribe his way onto the ballot to run for mayor, has seemingly lost interest in the job.

“Right now I want to continue to do what I’m doing as state senator and try to do the best I can for the constituents that I’m still representing,” the embattled Queens lawmaker said when asked about his mayoral ambitions in a recent interview with CBS6 Albany.

Continue reading “Malcolm Smith No Longer Seems Interested in Mayoral Race”

State Senator Speculates and Debates: ‘Attack on Black Leaders: Corruption or Conspiracy?’

sanders State Senator Speculates and Debates: Attack on Black Leaders: Corruption or Conspiracy?
James Sanders last night.

It is a question few in the New York political establishment dare to ask publicly: is the seemingly endless string of indictments and arrests of elected officials a conspiracy against minorities in power?

But there was Queens State Sen. James Sanders Jr., bellowing in a theater with a preacher’s rhythm, more than implying last night that the recent arrests of black elected officials like Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, State Sen. Malcolm Smith and State Sen. John Sampson were not coincidental. Even State Sen. Shirley Huntley, who admitted to stealing funds earmarked for her district’s underprivileged children and was sentenced Thursday for her crimes, could have been linked to a conspiracy, Mr. Sanders said.

Ironically, Mr. Sanders defeated Ms. Huntley last year–after she was indicted–and took her seat in the State Senate.

Continue reading “State Senator Speculates and Debates: ‘Attack on Black Leaders: Corruption or Conspiracy?’”